A Welcome Update to Google Shopping’s MAP Policy

If the title of this post doesn’t cause an inordinate amount of excitement to surge through your bones, and cheers to escape your lips then what are you even doing in PPC?

I kid, I kid. I admit it, this is one of those posts that will be exceptionally boring for many of you… but potentially life-changing for a few of you.

I write to the few.

If you remember the post I wrote years back on Google Shopping and MAP policies, you’ll remember what I found… that Google has for a long time lived in a world that did not include MAP policies. This was of course unfortunate for many of us advertisers who lived in a world with MAP policies ferociously guarded by brands. Threat letters and all.

Here is the original post: The Secret Conflict of MAP Pricing and Google Shopping – ZATO Blog

And the GIF I used to describe how we retailers felt…

between a rock and a hard place homer simpson gif

MAP pricing, as a reminder, is the Minimum Advertised Price that a retailer is allowed to advertise for a specific product (though the retailer can sell that product at whatever they want in the cart or behind a gated membership site). This is not to be confused with MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) which is simply a made up number ascribed to that product by a brand.

MAP pricing typically carries teeth, and some sort of contract or agreement between the retailer and brand/manufacturer that is in some circles considered close to illegality, if not crossing the line into collusion. Regardless, MAP pricing is alive and well, and something that had been a major frustration when it came to Google Shopping since retailers would run into all sorts of issues with Landing Page prices matching the feed, and it got quite annoying and hack-ish.

 

What does this have to do with this post? Well, I’ve been re-reading the Google Shopping policy docs in my spare time (no, really, that stuff changes all the time and I hate finding stuff out from a client when I’m supposed to know what I’m talking about as the Shopping Ads expert… even if that policy was just reversed completely!), and came across something that shocked me.

There is now a section in the price field dealing with MAP pricing, as seen here: Google Shopping price: definition

Google Shopping MAP Price Policy Details

 

The amazing thing here, is that you can down, FULLY WITHIN GOOGLE’S POLICIES, submit your MAP pricing as a crossed-out price on your Landing Page and that will be accepted by Google! If you read my original post, this used to be problematic as Google wouldn’t allow crossed-out prices on the Landing Page, so the retailer was stuck between the brand’s MAP policy and legal team, and Google’s Landing Page policies.

No longer, rejoice advertisers!

The three call-outs here are:

  1. Submit your MAP price in the price field of the feed.
  2. Show that MAP price crossed out on your LP, use great text that suggests “Lower Price in Cart!” or whatever you have to do to comply with each individual brand’s policies (I know, some get really picky).
  3. Use the MAP price in your structured markup as the price.

 

There you have it, you can now submit a MAP price and not get disapproved by Google. I’m assuming this has been around for a little bit, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, and I’ve not run into it recently, so I’m happy to share this with you. If you were helped by this post, please consider sharing on your social channels, and don’t forget to subscribe to the ZATO Blog to make sure you are getting the most up to date content on Ecommerce PPC!

 

 

 

Did you know: ZATO can manage just Shopping Ads for your Brand or company alongside your in-house/agency Paid Search team?  Learn more about this offering here: Google Shopping Agency.